In simpler times, you could call up your BFF from the OB's office after your ultrasound and tell her the gender of your baby. Now, people can only learn the gender when you release a giant box of pink or blue balloons that float up to heaven and later deflate to choke a baby seal.
Armed with the skills I accrued during my 10 years of working in the corporate world as an assistant to various financial executives and all of the parenting books one person could read, I set out to be my ideal of the modern, educated stay-at-home-mom.
I am proud to say that I am the perfect mother. I have a perfect husband who is likewise, a perfect father. We have a perfect marriage. So naturally, we have perfect children and a perfect family. Before you pass a quick judgement on me, let me explain further.
There is so much competition to be "the best." Where did all of this competition come from? I just have to be honest and say I'm never going to be the World's Best Parent. I've got some bad news for you too...it's probably not going to be you, either.
I step out in front of the full-length mirror and lather my entire body in cocoa butter lotion, staring at the unrecognizable shape in front of me. I find three small stretch marks underneath my belly button and feel guilty for even noticing.
I secretly want to be beautiful and capable in their eyes, loving and gentle and brave. Perfect. The good queen from a fairytale -- when in reality I am sarcastic, impatient, fearful, weak. Not the evil queen, exactly, but flawed and unlovely and all too human.